Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this fifty-first Sunday of our Lord's year 2022, December 18.
Because our Lord Jesus Christ is risen from the dead on the third day - as He promised - and because He is returning in glory for our everlasting worship - as He has also promised - today, on this first day of the week, we gather in worship as members of our living Savior's church. With gratitude and gladness we bring our praise to our triune God for fully accomplishing our salvation in His Son and by His Spirit. We cordially invite you to join us in worship on this day and on any Sunday.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. ...And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ...And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. ~ John 1:1-3; 14,16
If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
- This past Wednesday, Dec.14, Hudsonville PRC voted to call Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC).
- Today Rev. J. Holstege (Zion PRC) declined the call to Randolph (WI) PRC.
- First PRC's Council has a new trio of Revs. N. Decker (Grandville PRC), J. Holstege (Zion PRC), and J. Smidstra (First PRC-Holland). The congregation will vote this evening. *UPDATE: Rev. Smidstra has received this call.
- Hull PRC's Council has a trio from which to call her next pastor, now that Rev.J. Laning has accepted the call to serve as home missionary (Zion PRC): Revs. J. Holstege, S. Regnerus, and J. Smidstra. A congregation meeting is set for this Tuesday, December 20. **UPDATE: Rev. J. Smidstra received this call.
- Rev. M. DeBoer (Edgerton PRC MN) is considering the call from Doon (IA) PRC (received Nov.28). He plans to answer next week, Dec.25.
- Last Sunday Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC) declined the call from Georgetown PRC (Hudsonville, MI).
- Last Sunday Rev. J. Holstege (Zion PRC) declined the call from Hosanna PRC (Edmonton, AB).
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Elder-led in a.m.; Rev. J. Laning (at 4:30 p.m.) in Doon (IA) PRC; Prof. D. Kuiper and Prof. C. Griess in First PRC-Grand Rapids; Prof. C. Griess and Rev. A. Spriensma in Georgetown PRC; Rev. T. Miersma in Hosanna PRC, Edmonton, AB; Rev. A. Spriensma and Prof. B. Huizinga in Hudsonville PRC; Rev. M. DeBoer (2nd week) in Randolph PRC. May we count it a blessing of our church federation that we can help one another in these needs. Let us remember to pray for the men who supply these pulpits and for the vacant congregations.
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS
Home Mission News: On Nov.20 Rev. J. Laning (Hull PRC) accepted the call from Zion PRC (Jenison, MI) to serve as denominational home missionary. His farewell sermon from Hull will take place, D.V., on Jan.1, the afternoon service. We rejoice in God's goodness in providing a pastor to serve the churches in this way.
Foreign Mission News: Rev. D. Kleyn and his wife Sharon continue to recuperate in West Michigan following recent surgeries. They plan to leave the States on Dec.28 and return to the Philippines on Dec.29. May the Lord continue to grant healing and strength to them.
Rev. K. Koole spoke for the final seminary chapel of this semester this past Wednesday.
PRC Seminary Notices:
- The seminary has now completed its fifteen weeks of the first semester of the school year. This week exams are scheduled from Monday to Friday. Pray for the faculty and students as they complete their work for this semester. Seminary will recess from Dec.25-Jan.8, but the seminary will be open daily except for the Dec.26 and Jan.2.
- A reminder is given during this holiday season that the seminary bookstore has a good supply of new and used books, including Bibles and music CDs (Hope Heralds 2022!). Visit us anytime during the day, Monday through Friday (except on the holidays of Dec.26 and Jan.2).
- After the two-week holiday break, the PRC Seminary will hold it's eight-day Interim class, Jan.9-18. Prof. B. Gritters will be teaching his Reformed Ethics class, with a focus on the Ten Commandments. Look for notices of visitor/audtor invitation soon.
- Sem. M. Koerner (4th year) is finishing his six-month internship in Hope PRC-Grand Rapids under Rev. J. Mahtani (July-Dec.).
- The seminary is open daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., including the library and bookstore. PRC members and friends are welcome to visit and make use of these resources.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website - and don't forget the blog!
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- Pastors J. Tan and newly installed M. Wee are faithfully serving the CERC. In his pastoral note this week, Pastor Tan had more pointed instruction and admonition for the congregation (and good for all of us!): "We know how difficult it is for us to put to death the old man of sin utterly. We know how easy it is for us to fall into the temptation to compromise and leave a little sin in our lives to be tributaries. We know how difficult it is for us to repent of our sins because of the pride of the old man of sin. But what a comfort it is, to know that God gives us Christ as the grounds of our salvation, that He gives us faith, by which we are justified, that He gives us the Spirit of Christ to work in us all obedience of love unto God. People of God, today, look to the fulfillment of the OT Joshua for all your justification and sanctification. Fix your eyes of faith this day on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...."
- Don't forget the most recent issue of Salt Shakers is available - Issue 67, September 2022. Especially for young people, the magazine is edifying for ALL readers!
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A. Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to the saints in Ballymena.
- The November 2022 issue of "Covenant Reformed News" was recently published. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles by Revs. A. Stewart (Christ's various comings) and R. Hanko (the third use of the law).
- The CPRC YouTube channel may be found here.
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V. Ibe led her services today. We also find this special note concerning her mission endeavors: "The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, NE., will join us in our worship services today via livestream at our official Facebook page."
- Provident PRC bulletin: "Elder Bien Montoya will lead for us in our worship services today and will use Video recordings of sermons of Prof. Russel Dykstra from the PRCA for the preaching of God’s Word in our worship services today."
- "Rev. D. Kleyn and Sis. Sharon are doing well and gradually improving as they recover from their respective surgeries last month. They will return to the Philippines as planned, the Lord willing. They are scheduled to leave in U.S. on Dec. 28 and to arrive in the Philippines on Dec. 29, DV. Let’s continue remember them in our prayers and looking forward to see them again soon, the Lord willing." (Provident bulletin)
Reformed Resources for Education, Edification, and Evangelism
- This month Rev. W. Bruinsma (Pittsburgh, PA PRC) continues to speak for the RWH program. He is delivering messages on various Bible passages related to the first coming of Christ in the flesh. Today's message is titled "A Prophecy of Praise" based on Luke 1:68,69.
Who is this Jesus whose birth we celebrate in this Christmas season? To read a brief resource that answers this question, visit this link.
- For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.
- The Reformed Book Outlet (downtown Hudsonville, MI) has now opened its new store in downtown Hudsonville! The new location is at 3472 Harvey St. in Hudsonville. Regular hours are Tuesday - Friday from 10-5 and Saturday from 10-1. Special notice!
Reformed Book Outlet is running their 25% off sale through the rest of the month of December in store, and we are also holding it online as well this year! Stop in the store to shop, or when ordering online, use code DEC25 at check out to get 25% off eligible items! Items ordered through our website for shipping should be ordered before December 15th to guarantee arrival before Christmas Day!
- Are you interested in learning more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
- Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.
This Week's Thought for Contemplation
"Yes, but first hear this Word of God, to your shame and condemnation! Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger!
"No room for Him! For consider Who He is, this Child that is the cause of the great joy of which the angel spoke, this Word that is come to pass. He is God come into our world! God, very God, the Eternal, the Infinite, Who is God indeed; the holy and righteous and true One. He came into the world in the Person of His only begotten Son. He came, not at the periphery of things, but into the very heart of our world, in our flesh and blood, for He is of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, of the house of David, of the virgin Mary: the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us!
"Oh, it is great joy, indeed, but joy with fear and trembling, and joy only in the way of shame and repentance and humiliation. It is joy indeed, but only after we have heard the Word of God and received it, that in all the world there is no room for God to come down to us! There is no room in Bethlehem, no room in the inn, no room in Jerusalem, the city of the Great King, no room among the nations of the world. No one can, no one will receive Him. There is no room for Him in your and my hearts, as we are by nature!
"No room! And that too just because He is God!
"Joy? Yes there is joy, but then only in the fact that God did come down to us, and that He will build His own house, and that He will make room for Himself. Do you not remember that long ago we cast Him out to make room for the Prince of this world, and that ever since we denied Him room?
"But He came – not because there is still a little room left for Him, but in spite of the fact that there was nowhere a place for Him!
"He came by the Wonder of His almighty grace… Joy indeed!"
~ Taken from the meditation "Tidings of Joy" by Herman Hoeksema